Bedsores, or pressure ulcers, should never occur in the nursing home environment. They are the direct result of unrelieved pressure against the skin – in other words, from a staff’s neglect to prevent residents from becoming sedentary in beds or wheelchairs. Bedsores are painful and can cause serious complications such as infections and life-threatening issues. Despite federal laws and standards for senior care facilities, bedsores are prevalent problems in nursing homes throughout America. If your elderly loved one has bedsores, he or she may be the victim of nursing home neglect. Talk to our lawyers right away if you suspect this is the case.
A bedsore occurs when the skin and its underlying tissues develop ulcers due to prolonged pressure on one part of the skin. Bedsores occur most often on parts of the body with thinner skin, such as over bones. Senior citizens with restricted ranges of motion, such as those in wheelchairs, are at increased risk of developing bedsores. Bedsores are entirely preventable by keeping pressure from building for too long. Nursing home staff members require training to prevent bedsores. They should use methods such as physical therapy, exercises, and turning the resident over to prevent pressure ulcers. Failure to prevent this type of injury often points to negligence.
You’ll know if your loved one has a bedsore if he/she complains of swelling, redness, pus-like drainage, or tender areas on the body. These are warning signs. Severe bedsores are serious injuries that cause damage deep within the muscle tissues and bones. Areas most susceptible to bedsores are the tailbone, shoulder blades, spine, hip, heels, and ankles. Fever, foul smells, increased redness or swelling around a sore, are signs of infection from a bedsore. At this point, the resident needs immediate medical attention.
All nursing homes in Atlanta should be well aware of the risk of bedsores in elderly residents who are immobile or who suffer from diminished sensory perception. Failure to prevent bedsores is a sign of elderly neglect or even abuse. Poor hydration and nutrition can increase the risk of pressure ulcers – these are also signs of neglect. Ask your loved one about his or her degree of care at the nursing home. Always take neglect allegations from your loved one seriously. Report possible problems to nursing home administrators immediately.
Treat a bedsore like a red flag for elder abuse and neglect. Most nursing home residents with bedsores are not getting the level of care and attention they require. If they were, the staff would have prevented the development of the pressure ulcers. Staff members failing in this regard can signal issues elsewhere within the facility. Your loved one may be suffering other forms of neglect or abuse under the nursing home’s supervision.
As soon as you notice or hear about your friend or family member having bedsores or related complications such as infection, file a complaint with the facility’s management. There may be an explanation, such as that your loved one came to the facility with pre-existing pressure ulcers. If you have reason to suspect neglect or abuse, talk to the Atlanta attorneys at Butler Wooten & Peak LLP. We can help you go up against the facility and pursue compensation for your loved one’s medical bills and other damages.